Major cycle and walking route officially opened in Kingston
Kingston Council is celebrating the completion of improvement works to Portsmouth Road and the Queen’s Promenade as part of the Go Cycle scheme.
Over the past 15 months the council has been transforming the one mile stretch of road, as part of a £30 million investment by Transport for London and the Mayor of London to improve walking and cycling routes, and revitalise public spaces in the borough.
The Portsmouth Road scheme is one of 10 routes that form the borough’s Go Cycle programme to help create healthy streets and change the way people in the borough travel.
The scheme has:
- transformed part of the Queen’s Promenade with landscaping, seating and stone paving.
- created a two-way segregated cycle track from the town centre towards Surbiton and Elmbridge.
- increased and improved pedestrian crossings and access to the riverfront.
Following the success of the scheme, Kingston Council is this month beginning construction works at Kingston Station to transform walking and cycling links between the station and the historic town centre. The council is also part way through construction of the Surbiton to Kingston Go Cycle scheme with the recent completion of a segregated cycle lane on St Mark’s Hill.
To mark the completion of the Portsmouth Road works and the arrival of spring the council is hosting a Portsmouth Road family fun day on Saturday, with an official opening of the new scheme by Deputy Mayor for Transport Val Shawcross and with the Walking and Cycling Commissioner Will Norman in attendance.
Val Shawcross, Deputy Mayor for Transport, said:
“Portsmouth Road is a brilliant scheme. Whether you want to pop down to the river, walk around the local area, or cycle safely into the centre of Kingston, these improvements will benefit everyone. We must help Londoners become more active and healthy, and this is a great example of how we can improve the physical environment, while encouraging more Londoners to make walking and cycling a part of their everyday routine.
‘We will continue to work closely with Kingston as they push ahead with their plans to get more people walking and cycling all across the borough.”
Will Norman, London’s first full-time Walking and Cycling Commissioner, said:
‘It’s wonderful that Kingston shares the ambition of me and the Mayor to make cycling a safer and easier option for residents across their borough.
“This fantastic new scheme not only links Surbiton and Kingston with a calm and safe cycle route, but also improves their iconic riverside for pedestrians too. Getting more people walking and cycling can really improve quality of life for everyone – improving our health, tackling poor air quality, and improving our high streets.”
Ben Plowden, TfL’s Director of Strategy and Planning, Surface Transport, said:
“This early scheme is impressive and when all routes are complete, Kingston will be more attractive, accessible and people-friendly so everyone can enjoy walking and cycling in the borough. A major cycle hub is planned, more high-quality cycling routes will be introduced and the area around Kingston station is set to be transformed.”
Deputy Leader and portfolio holder for the Go Cycle Programme Councillor Terry Paton said:
“We have much to celebrate, as we mark the history of cycling and develop more healthy streets across our borough through the £30 million investment from TfL and the Mayor of London.
“This investment has created a direct and safer cycling link into the town centre, improved crossing points and has transformed the riverfront area around the Queen’s Promenade.”
Go Cycle member officer board Councillor Hilary Gander said:
“With the recent completion of the first Go Cycle lane along Portsmouth Road we’re hoping local residents will enjoy getting on a bike or walking into town along this route.”
The Portsmouth Road opening event will feature family activity including face painting, a bike market, cycle rides and penny farthing displays to celebrate the rich history of cycling in the borough.
British cycling pioneer and former Mayor, Eileen Gray, was from Kingston. Eileen was instrumental in the development of women’s cycling internationally and helped secure the women’s road race at the Olympics in Los Angeles in 1984.
Surbiton resident, John Keen, was the first to build a penny farthing and was known as the “fastest man in the world” racing on them.
Where: Portsmouth Road (next to the Riverside Cafe, KT1 2LZ)
When: Saturday April 22, 2017
Time: 10.30am to 2.30pm
Who: Deputy Mayor for Transport Val Shawcross will officially open the scheme at 10.30am.